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Migrant labourer works her way to become President of gram panchayat

Working hard and honesty, Bheemavva of Karnataka has today become the president of the gram panchayat (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@Mioremerijaan)

Bheemavva who left her home more than 25 years ago due to drought has come a long way. Hardships and penury in their village Katageri in north Karnataka’s Bagalkot district, forced Bheemavva and her husband Mariyappa to move to the coastal area of Udupi district and today she is the President of the Tallur gram panchayat.

Talking to the media, the 48-year-old woman who contested for the post for the first time and won said: “I have struggled very hard to get my voter’s ID, Aadhaar card and other documents. I know how hard it is to get your work done at a Government office. Now that I have power to change things, which came as a surprise to me too, I am trying my best to ensure people get their work done easily and all facilities are distributed rightfully.”

What is surprising is that life has remained the same for her as she continues to work as a labourer in the second half of the day while in the morning she visits the panchayat office. Thus many days she has to make good with only half day wages which is Rs.250 per day.

Shyamala, a resident of the village praising Bheemavva said: “No one in the village waits for the president to approve their request now. Work at the gram panchayat level is quick. Moreover, she is still the old Bheemavva we all know, this president position hasn’t changed her one bit.”

Known for her hard work and honesty, Bheemavva is very popular among the villagers and this caught the attention of Karun Poojary, a former member of the taluk panchayat. He suggested her name and convinced her to contest for the post of village panchayat president in the Scheduled Tribe category. After deliberating she agreed and won by 162 votes.

The migrant couple have four children and their eldest son is a soldier posted on the Indo-Tibetan border.